Making Home

This is a prelude to Private Space

The first thing Cedric noticed about the barracks was that they were co-ed; the woman changing by the doorway claimed his attention the moment he walked in.

The second thing he noticed was that the walls were awfully secure for a barracks, and the doors at both ends locked.

“This is your bunk.” The overseer pushed him at an empty bunk, about halfway down the row.

That’s when Cedric noticed exactly how homey each of the bunks seemed. They all had the standard issue: a metal-framed bunk bed with one mattress missing, a trunk at the foot of the bed, sheets, pillow, thin blanket.

But not a single bunk – except his – stopped there. Bed on top bunk, bed on bottom. Curtains, made of thin fabric patchworked together, pretty sticks and stones woven into decoration, a woven screen using the uprights of the bunk as the framework: every single bunk had been decorated, personalized, made home.

And no matter how bright and busy any bunk was, there seemed to be an invisible line between that bunk at the next; nobody’s space intruded onto the next tiny home.

He stood by his bunk, wondering how he’d ever make it as homey as the ones to either side.

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